Rotmire Creed

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Witherlord

The Rotmire Creed are a society of swamp-dwelling Chaos cultists who wield disease as a weapon, infecting their foes with all manner of flesh-rotting blights.[1a]

History

Origins

The Rotmire Creed are the descendants of an order of alchemists known as the Purifiers, who fled from the Free City of Excelsis generations ago. These secretive men and women were caught in the act of performing experiments upon unwilling subjects, purposefully infecting them with gruesome ailments in an attempt to concoct a philtre that would free mortalkind from sickness and decrepitude - the fabled Philtre of Immortality. At its inception, the Ourifiers was an entirely selfless association dedicated to knowledge and the betterment of all. Yet their work soon came to the attention of Nurgle. Outraged at such a wilful rejection of his offerings, the Plague God focused his malign influence upon the Purifiers, nudging them towards ever greater transgressions in the pursuit of their goal. Thus was a noble cause transformed into an act of vile, self-serving cruelty. Sentenced to death and pursued by agents of Sigmar's Devoted, the original members of the order fled far across Ghur, eventually seeking refuge within the Rotmire, a place wholly suited to their increasingly deranged tastes. Even the God-King's holy seekers were wary of pursuing their quarry into this region, and those who did meet a hideous fate indeed at the hands of the vengeful outcasts.[1a]

Exile

In exile, the malign influence of Nurgle came to completely transform the Purifiers. Those once erudite men and women fully embraced an existence of vileness and corruption, learning to harness the vapours, slimy moulds and foetid liquids of their new marshland home in order to create weaponised diseases. They used their plaguecraft to strike down not only those who raised arms against them, but also any sorry souls that wandered into their territory. Such unfortunates become specimens upon which the Creed tested their most appalling creations. The cult's search for the fabled Philtre of Immortality continued apace, but in a horrifically perverted fashion. Haunted by visions of leering, horned daemons with grotesquely swollen bellies, the members of the Creed began to carve idols in this same image. For materials, they used corpse-stuff left behind in the wake of their experiments, which had been bound with rocks and wedged into crevices beneath the surface of the Rotmire, where it would rapidly decompose. With loving car, they shaped these mounds of carrion into the image of horrors glimpsed in their dreams, erecting these totems at the centre of basins formed by curling mangrove roots. They began to worship the idols, reciting alchemical mantras as benedictions and droning praises to the deity they call Lord Leech - a faceless god of rot whose body is formed from a million wriggling worms. They hurled spoiled meat, captive prisoners or particularly foul swamp-matter into these sacred pools, feeding the grotesque maladies that brewed within. The bubbling, reeking sludge that seeps from the Creed's plague-idols is seen by its members as the very Elixir of Life they spent their former lives searching for. Rather than a cleansing philtre, however, it is a source of disease and putrefaction, a repulsive gift ready to be showered on the cult's unsuspecting foes.[1a]

Gnarlwood

The first that the Rotmire Creed learned of Talaxis was when the battered remnants of an Excelsian steam-wagon convoy fell into their clutches, having been forced to flee into the Rotmire to escape a rampaging mob of orruks. These unfortunate survivors met a far more gruesome fate at the hands of their new captors. Rooting through the smoking ruins of the Excelsian vehicles, the Creed's warriors discovered a rare treasure: an entire casket of glimmerings mined from the Spear of Mallus, the omen-infused monolith that looms over the City of Secrets. The Creed's elders were quick to analyse their discovery. When they touched the prophetic treasures, they were overcome by visions of the Gnarlwood and the buried Realmshaper Engines that gave life to its vicious flora. These visions were interpreted as a message from Lord Leech himself. t was clear to the Rotmire Creed that their deity wished them to claim the Gnarlwood in his name, and remake it in his disgusting image. So it was a host of chosen warriors who departed their mouldering swampland home and made a great pilgrimage across Thondia.[1b]

Beliefs

The Creed wishes to inflect the Plague God's many and exotic 'gifts' upon both themselves and their foes, for they believe that in putrefaction can be found the essence of perfection. To them, the spreading of maladies is a spiritual act, a never-ending quest to discover the perfect plague and thereby unlock the secrets of immortality - of a grim sort.[!a]

Tactics

When the Rotmire Creed strike, they do so with a hail of darts and splintering clay pots, each missile tainted by a multitude of toxins and disease-ridden fluids. The enemy reels, their flesh bubbling and sloughing away as a host of lovingly brewed contagions take hold. Then do the Creed rush in for the kill, loping forward upon marsh-strider stilts, dragging their prey to the floor with cruel, barbed hooks and hacking at their convulsing bodies with bone-carved daggers. These swamp-dwellers eschew metal armour and blades, for in their humid lairs iron soon rusts and weakens. Instead, they favour blowpipes and impaling claws fashioned from rotting wood - the latter of which contain devious mechanisms that pump liquid putrefaction into the veins of their victims so that the Creed might carefully observe as the foe's body breaks down, dissolved from within by supernatural contagions. The lucky ones die swiftly. Those hapless few who survive these gruesome ministrations are dragged off to the Creed's lairs, where they will become living subjects for the swamp-dwellers experiments.[1a]

Armaments

Metal does not last long in the poisonous atmosphere of the Rotmire. Whether due to the unique climate or some unseen virulance of Nurgle's creation, it soon rusts and becomes brittle, so that a well-crafted sword will simply disintegrate upon striking its target. The Creed has found that the moss-strewn and fungus-covered bilegrove trees that thrive in their marshy home make for a far more reliable material. Furthermore, these plants are so thoroughly doused with toxic slim and the Creed's own revolting liquids that a single abrasion from a bilegrove weapon can cause a festering abscess or grotesque blackening and stiffening of the limbs.[1b]

Warband

Witherlord

Witherlords are the master alchemists of the Rotmire Creed, gaunt and foreboding figures who conceal their faces behind wicker masks. It is they who zealously hoard the alchemical knowledge gathered by the Creed. They know the secrets of brewing the vilest toxins and diseases, how to blend spoiled carrion, swamp-filth and sprigs of poisonous plants to create concoctions that can turn even the mightiest warrior into a gruesome mass of sores and lesions. Headsman's Grippe, Clot-throat and Crimson Weep - all these hideous plagues and more are stored in bottles and gourds around a Witherlord's person, easily retrieved and hurled into the face of an oncoming foe. For more precise infection, a Witherlord wields a plague-injector - a large syringe crafted from sharpened marshwood, which contains an especially rancid concoction. When the Witherlord plunges this weapon into the flesh of a victim, it spews toxic filth directly into their bloodstream. Wading through the soupy bogs of the Rotmire with the aid of a pair of swamp-strider stilts, Witherlords gather their ingredients and search for new subjects upon whom to bestow their gifts.[1b]

Unlike the warriors they command, Witherlords tend not to display the more obvious symptoms of pestilence and plague: swollen limbs, festering boils and the like. Indeed, these twisted alchemists refrain from experimenting on themselves, despite their insistence that only by contracting the most horrific contagions can one become truly immortal. Instead, they claim that before risking their own flesh they must conduct further tests upon willing and unwilling supplicants, in order to refine their art and earn Lord Leech's blessing.[1b]

Carrion Catchers

It is the task of the Carrion Catchers to watch over the plague-idols of the Rotmire Creed, and add new mounds of rotting flesh to these grotesque totems. They roam far and wide across their stinking homeland, searching for good sources of putrified meat - the weeks-old corpses of bloated amphibians, perhaps, or wriggling nests of bloater maggots. Most eagerly sought of all are live prisoners, whom the Carrion catchers bring down with roped sickle-staves and spiked picks, capturing them alive whenever possible. This living meat is then hurled into the gloopy pool of unspeakable matter that gathers beneath the plague-idol, further feeding its fould corruption and giving rise to yet more of their precious "Philtre of Immortality".[1b]

Bloated Ones

The Bloated Ones are those corrupted souls upon whom the Witherlords have lavished their most repulsive concoctions and who have no yet succumbed to a gruesome death. Their swollen distended bellies overflow with disease, and their lumbering gait s caused by blood clotting in their trunk-like legs. The Bloated Ones are looked upon with something akin to reverence by their fellow cultists, for it is believed that they have taken the first steps towards eternal life - belief further strengthened by the strange mutations that sprout from their bodies. In battle, Bloated Ones utilise raker-claws to disembowel their foes, or hurl hooked nets to trap fast-moving opponents. Their very flesh is also a potent weapon, for when pierced, it unleashes a spray of acidic fluid capable of rapidly eating through metal and bone.[1b]}

Mirefolk Outcasts

The Mirefolk are the lesser acolytes of the Rotmire Creed, who aspire to master the arts of alchemy and the brewing of blessed contagions. They are stooped and grotesque figures, pockmarked with plague-scars and rashes and often missing the tips of their fingers or noses. Manyt were once blameless victims of disease cast out from the Free Cities, where physical disfigurements are often callously ascribed to foulness of spirit. Eager for revenge upon those who shunned them, these outcasts willingly sought out the Witherlords of the Rotmire Creed, hoping to learn the secrets of plaguecraft, in the hope of one day visiting their own agony and self-loathing upon their former tormentors. Armed with a variety of crude but effective wooden spears, clubs and blowpipes, they are fanatical fighters whose hellish existence has robbed them of any fear of death.[1b]

Miniatures

Sources

Nurgle Rotbringers
Units Harbinger of Decay - Lord of Nurgle (Afflictions - Blights - Plagues) - Pusgoyle Blightlord - Putrid Blightking - Rotbringer Sorcerer
Characters Ephraim Bollos - Fecula Flyblown - Festerbite - Festus - Glottkin (Ethrac Glott - Ghurk Glott - Otto Glott) - Glutrik - Grelch - Carkus Gryme - Gutrot Spume - Kraderblob - Lady of Cankerwall - Maggoth Knight (Bloab Rotspawned - Morbidex Twiceborn - Orghotts Daemonspew - Bilespurter - Tripletongue - Whippermaw) - Ocander Wolgus - Pazak - Ranslug - Slaugoth Maggotfang - Torglug - Tulg - Ungholghott - Urslaug - Sargo Wale
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures